Top 10 Busiest Ports In The World

The busiest ports in the world are not necessarily the biggest ports in the world, as it is measured by the volume of cargo handled by the port.

Top 10 Busiest Ports In The World

It is known to everyone that more than 90% of the world’s trade depends on the Maritime Industry and hence it plays a creditable role in maintaining and developing the global economy. For this, the most crucial role is played by Ports. More precisely, the port’s potentiality to handle transshipment of goods as well as the inflow and outflow of the freight, stand up to the reason, why ports are important.

Talking about ports, below listed are the top ten ports, from around the world, which handle the largest volume of cargo globally. Thus making them, the busiest ports in the world.

Also Read: Major Chinese Ports Sees 15.8% Increase In Container Volumes

1. Shanghai Port, China

For the past decade, Shanghai Port has been the world’s busiest port after it overtook Singapore Port in 2010. Since then, it’s been plotting on an efficacious growing economy. The Shanghai Port is also subjected to SIPG i.e., Shanghai International Port Group. The port, situated in China covers an area of approximately 3619.6 Sq. Km at the estuaries of the Yangtze River. 

Shanghai Port Busiest Port
Image Via: Splash

The port of Shanghai has numerous terminals. Specifically, it comprises two-bulk cargo, three breakbulk terminals in Luojing, Wusong, and Longwu areas along with the capability to handle one million passengers annually, at its cruise terminals.

In 2019, the port of shanghai handled 43.3 million twenty-feet equivalent units (TEU) containers. 

With the commencement of functions at the Yangshan Deepwater Port in 2017. The Shanghai Port secured the position of the world’s first port where the world’s largest and newfangled container terminal is situated.

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2. Singapore Port, Singapore

The port of Singapore is the world’s second-busiest port in terms of cargo handling but it has secured the prime position as the busiest transshipment port. Despite not being an economic boom for the nation, the Singapore port still plays an important role in connectivity. The Singapore port offers connectivity to 600 ports and 123 nations. 

In the year of 2019, the port handled 37.2 TEUs of containers and 626.2 million tons of cargo. 

Singapore Port Busiest Port
Image Via:

Covering over the area of 725.1 Sq. Km (approx.), the Singapore Port has several terminals that have the potentiality to handle large vessels and ships like Ro-Ro ships, bulk carriers, cargo freighters, and far more. The port is facilitated with four major container terminals operated by PSA International and the Jurong terminal port is operated by Jurong Port. 

The port of Singapore is well equipped with 204 quarry cranes and numerous gantry cranes that can handle large ships. Just like the Shanghai Port, the Singapore Port is also focusing on the automated container terminal. The Tuas Terminal is being built, and is expected to be in operation in 2040.

3. Shenzen Port, China

The port of Shenzhen secures the third position with the total volume of trade of 26.548 million TEUs in 2020 which is increased by 3.2% as per the 2019 record. The Shenzhen Port plays a vital role in serving the industries and companies situated on the banks of the Pearl River Delta.

Shenzen Port Busiest Port
Image Via: Advantech

The Port of Shenzhen serves as the home for the headquarters of 40 shipping industries that have launched around 130 international container lines. Apart from that, there are around 230 container routes that pass through the Shenzhen Port, which polishes its importance in terms of connectivity.

 According to the port logistics industry, 80 companies provide services related to boats, 2000 transport companies, and about 100 warehouse operators.

The port of Shenzhen is on the way to become a crucial port in China’s coastal transport. The port is also expected to be built as a world-class harbor consisting of safe, advanced, and sustainable equipment.

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4. Ningbo-Zhoushan Port, China

In 2006, two separate ports of Ningbo and Zhoushan were merged for better results. The integration marked the growth of 4.7% per year in cargo throughput that maintained their position as the fourth busiest port in the world.

Ningbo-Zhoushan Port marinemonks
Image Via: CruiseMapper

Last year Ningbo- Zhoushan Port handled 28.72 million TEUs containers. The port of Ningbo-Zhoushan operated 260 container vessel routes and provides a route servicing facility to more than 100 roads and belt initiatives. Besides that, the Ningbo-Zhoushan port contributes greatly to the nation’s economy as it plays a key role in trade with 560 ports from more than 90 countries and regions around the world.

Today, the port’s infrastructural capability act as a notable point in handling massive scale maritime traffic. The port has a total of 191 berth that includes 39 deep-water berths which have the potential to hold 10,000+ tons.

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5. Guangzhou Port, China

The port of Guangzhou switched to the fifth rank from the seventh rank in 2018 by handling the breaking number of TEUs in its history. In 2018, the port marked the growth with an increment of 7.4% by registering 21.87 million TEUs. Similarly, in 2019, container volume reached 23.2 million TEUs by a 6% gain over 2018.

Guangzhou Port Busiest Port
Image Via: Basenton Logistics

The port is facilitated with 4600 berths and 2359 anchorages but each of 1,000 tonnage capability.

The most dominant role is played by Nansha Terminal, with the potentiality to handle 150,000-ton berths. It contributes 70% of the total cargo volume in Guangzhou Port.

6. Busan Port, South Korea

The port of Busan is situated at the mouth of Naktong River; South Korea is known for being the sixth busiest port in terms of the twenty-feet equivalent of containerized cargo. The Busan Port has four well-equipped modern ports, an international passenger terminal, and six container terminals. The quay wall of 26.8 Km permits the port to berth 169 vessels simultaneously.

Busan Port Busiest Port
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The Busan Port plays a prominent role by contributing 40% in marine cargo, 42% in fisheries production, and 80% in container cargo. In the year 2019, the port of Busan maintained the 6th position by handling the cargo of 21.9 million TEUs.

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7. Qingdao Port, China

The port of Qingdao is situated on the south coast of the Shandong Peninsula. The port is lauded as China’s largest port of crude oil and iron ore.

Qingdao Port Busiest port
Image Via:

The Dagang Port area, Qianwan port area, Guangdong Oil port area, and Dongjiakou port area together form the Qingdao Port. In 2019, The port is entitled as the “cargo handling hub”. The Qingdao Port earned the titles by handling a record-breaking cargo volume of 20 million TEUs in its history.

8. Hong Kong Port, Hong Kong 

The port of Hong Kong has an impressive history of being the world’s busiest port from 1987 to 1989, 1992 to 1997, and 1999 to 2004.

Hong Kong Port Busiest Port
Image Via: JOC

In 2019, the Hong Kong port grasp its position by hitting the container throughput of 18.36 million TEUs. The port can handle 456,000 vessels per year. The port also offers the facility of dry dock anchorages, slips, repair, and maintenance.

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9. Tianjin Port, China 

The port of Tianjin is considered as the “maritime gateway of Beijing” more often it is also referred to as “maritime gateway to the Chinese Capital”. 

Tianjin Port Busiest port
Image Via: China Daily

The Tianjin Port recorded 18.35 million TEUs of container handling in the year 2020. The port of Tianjin is stretched over the terrestrial area of 336 Sq. Km while facilitating 159 berths and connectivity to more than 500 ports.

10. Rotterdam Port, Netherlands

Rotterdam Port Busiest port
Image Via: Port of Rotterdam

Today, the Rotterdam Port holds the global ranking of the tenth position but it owned the reign of being the world’s top port for almost four decades. The port of Rotterdam achieved a freight throughput of 14.8 million in 2019. The port is operated and managed by the Port of Rotterdam Authority (PoRA).

Those were the world’s ten of the most busiest ports. On a whole, it can be seen that Chinese Ports have been dominating the above list, this is due to the well-developed ports with advanced cranes that take less time in loading and unloading of cargo, and ultimately supports the efficiency of the Chinese ports. Slowly and steadily, all the major ports from around the are focusing on their technical development for securing a better position and contributing to their nation’s economy more profitably.

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